NBCUniversal today announced that it will offer live 4K HDR coverage of next month’s Summer Olympics from Tokyo although it’s unclear which TV providers might carry it in the format.
Update: Comcast this afternoon confirmed to the TV Answer Man that it will offer the 4K coverage to “all customers.” (That means it will offer it to all subscribers who have 4K-enabled Xfinity set-tops.)
Update #2: An AT&T spokesman said it’s too early to say whether DIRECTV will offer the Olympics in 4K.
The network said its primetime coverage, and the opening and closing events, will be available in 4K HDR (High Dynamic Range). In addition, Olympic events aired by the Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel will be offered in 4K HDR. That will include track and field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, beach volleyball, golf, tennis and other sports.
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The 4K feeds could find their way on DIRECTV and Comcast, both of which have provided recorded 4K Olympics coverage in the past. (This will be the first time that Olympics will be available live in 4K.) TV Answer Man has asked both DIRECTV and Comcast for comment on whether they will offer NBC’s coverage in 4K, and will report back here when we get responses. (Note: NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast.)
“The Olympics have been a consistent driver of technological advancements, and even with the challenges of the past year, Tokyo will be no different,” said Gary Zenkel, president of the NBC Olympics unit. “With the rich cultural backdrop of Tokyo combined with the world-class competition of the Olympics, we’re excited to provide the American audience a look at the Games and, for the first time, the live Olympics primetime show with this impressive new 4K HDR technology.”
The Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23 and run through August 8, assuming the games are not postponed or interrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic. NBC has said it plans to provide more than 7,000 hours of high-def coverage on its various networks and streaming platforms.
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— Phillip Swann